Formaldehyde limits recommended for Malaysia’s locally sold wood-based panels

A regulation for a formaldehyde emission limit of ≤ 1.5 mg/L (F**/E1 class) on imported and locally produced wood-based panels products was recommended after studies by the government, reported ITTO. The majority of Malaysian manufacturers can reach this standard.

Limits on formaldehyde emissions are mandatory in many consumer countries and the Malaysian panel products industry responds accordingly when exporting.

However, there is presently no regulation on formaldehyde emission levels for the domestic market in Malaysia. All wood panel products, whether manufactured locally or imported for Malaysian consumers are not subject to inspection for formaldehyde emission levels.

To address this, the Malaysian Panel Products Manufacturers Association (MPMA) requested the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) to regulate formaldehyde emission for all panel products for the domestic market, be they locally manufactured or imported.

Since 2016, the Malaysian market has been flooded with imported plywood panels which were suspected to have high formaldehyde content.

An awareness event was recently conducted by the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) for domestic plywood mills, workers, agents/importers, intermediate users and the public. An investigation of formaldehyde emission from Malaysian made plywood for the domestic market has been completed and studies on MDF and particleboard are ongoing.